Permanency for foster children, with respect to housing and relationships, is integral to their healthy development and well-being. In order to ensure permanency is achieved expeditiously, explicit timelines must be implemented in child protective cases.

Key points:

  • Permanency is important. “Foster care is a temporary setting and not a place for children to grow up,” and parent-child relationships are quintessential to children’s development.
  • On average, depending on the way a child exits state custody, youth will spend about 13 to 50 months in foster care.
  • In current child protective cases, as long as the final permanency trial is commenced within a 12-month deadline, children may remain in foster care and in temporary placements for an indefinite amount of time.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated that permanency might be jeopardized in emergencies, too, as hearings were rescheduled, parent visitations cancelled, and foster placements disrupted.